Coca-Cola Service Awards and Other Bling
This photo is of a page from The Coca-Cola Company’s 1957 catalog featuring commemorative Coca-Cola jewelry, made by the L. G. Balfour Company. Since the turn of the century, The Coca-Cola Company has believed in creating employee incentive and rewarding loyalty with acknowledgment that may have come in the form of merchandise, gift cards or discount vouchers. As seen by these catalog pages, in 1957 Coca-Cola turned to the L.G. Balfour Company of Attleboro, MA to create gifts with their insignia. Balfour has been making quality jewelry since 1913. Lloyd Garfield Balfour originally started the company to make items for fraternities and sororities on college campuses. During WWI the US Government hired them to make military insignia for the Armed Forces. When the war was over, Balfour created new product lines including a wide array of company service awards. The Coca-Cola Company awarded pins to their employees after completing every five years of service up to what appears to be 50 years according to the catalog. The pins were 10K gold and included enamel and/or genuine precious stones. The last pin shown is in a classic Coke bottle shape and is listed as a “Pledge Pin” for the modest price of $1.50. At the bottom of the catalog page you can see they also offered a genuine Rolex watch for the phenomenal 1957 price of $50.75.
The next page of the catalog illustrates a wide array of additional items awarded by The Coca-Cola Company and made by Balfour. Included are a makeup compact, bracelets, a necklace, tie clips, a keychain, a money clip, a lighter and a belt buckle. Noted is the option of having the item made with a “50th Anniversary mounting, Coca-Cola Bottle mounting, or Coca-Cola (logo) mounting”.
This 1962 catalog page shows that Bulova also made merchandising items for The Coca-Cola Company. These products were also directed at the management at Coca-Cola as gifts and awards for their employees. Each quality watch bears the Coca-Cola logo painted in red on the watch face. The ad states, “With these beautiful watches Bulova helps you say ‘Thank You’ in an unforgettable way”. I’m sure the lucky recipients were very happy to receive these gifts and also very proud to wear them.